Monthly Archives: October 2015
Prior to the acquisition of inside linebacker Joe Mays, the Chargers had three healthy players at the position on the 53-man roster (Donald Butler, Kavell Conner and Nick Dzubnar).
Third-year backer Manti Te’o has missed two consecutive games nursing an ankle injury, opening the door for this offseason’s second-round draft pick, Denzel Perryman.
The former Hurricane had started two games in place of Te’o, only to exit Sunday’s loss with a strained pectoral muscle.
It is being said that the team is taking it day-to-day with his injury status.
Initially, it was feared to be much worse than a strain for Perryman.
Trailing only free safety Eric Weddle for the team lead in tackles, the loss of Te’o is additionally significant due to the fact that he was wearing the defense’s “communicator,” the green-dot helmet, relaying calls to his teammates.
In Te’o’s first game missed, Weddle resumed the distinction after being the only safety in the NFL to do so in 2014.
Lo and behold, Weddle would suffer a groin injury in the fourth quarter of the Chargers’ loss to the Packers and miss Week 7, forcing John Pagano’s unit to hand over the defensive signal relay to Donald Butler.
To say that the former third-round selection, Butler, has been a disappointment this year is an understatement.
Despite all of the total tackles that Manti has accumulated during his time on the field in 2015, his missed tackles and poor angles in pursuit are what is being talked about by the masses. Though he seems to be in proper position to make a play more often than not, he has struggled to wrap up and stop ball carriers in their tracks, giving up more yards after contact than any other player on the team.
With no timetable for return truly set for either Te’o or Perryman, the signing of Mays makes sense. The team needs bodies at the position, and the former Jet, Chief, Texan, Bronco and Eagle can do just that.
Mays had an opportunity to sign with the Chargers this offseason but decided to take a chance with the Jets, who cut him prior to the beginning of the 2015 regular season. The 30-year-old was unable to make it past the Jets’ final cuts.
The contract for Mays will certainly be team-friendly. But it also shows that the club might be concerned about how long Te’o and Perryman may be out.
Sitting at a 2-5 record and in last place of the AFC West division, the time to put up or shut up is officially here.
Mays may not see much time on defense, but he does have experience on special teams, which the team will need in the absence of Perryman, who has excelled in the third phase of the game as a rookie.
That injury bug should go ahead and beat the Bolts to Los Angeles, because I am sick of it chilling out and setting up shop in America’s finest city.
Articles from Chargers.com:
- “We’ve got to stick together” by Branden Oliver
- VIDEO: McCoy’s opening statement on Monday
- Field position woes plaguing the Chargers
- Five lessons from the Raiders game
Articles from ESPN.com:
- Gates working his way back from MCL sprain
- Chargers to sign linebacker Joe Mays
- McCoy remains positive, says no coaching changes expected
- Chargers made strangers in own house
- Do Chargers have all it takes to be better?
- Denzel jinx gets Dzubnar on the field
The Chargers are expected to sign veteran inside linebacker Joe Mays, according to ESPN NFL insider Adam Caplan.
With #Chargers dealing with injuries at ILB, source said team is expected to sign veteran ILB Joe Mays.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) October 26, 2015
Inside linebacker Manti Te’o has missed the last two weeks due to injury, and their 2015 second-round draft pick, inside linebacker Denzel Perryman, left Sunday’s loss to the Raiders with a strained pectoral muscle.
Perryman’s injury was thought to be far more serious, but multiple reports today suggest otherwise.
There has been no timetable provided for the return of either player, but obviously the team feels the need to supplement the roster with the signing of Mays. The signing does not bode well for the returns of both Te’o and Perryman, meaning that one or both could be on the shelf for longer than the team would like.
Mays, 30, will make the Chargers his fifth team since coming into the league in 2008. Most recently with the Chiefs in 2014, the linebacker recorded 20 total tackles in eight games played last season. Mays started three games for Kansas City.
Over his eight-year career, Mays has registered 240 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, six passes defensed and one forced fumble.
Whether or not the seat beneath Chargers head coach Mike McCoy is heating up or not within the organization, the fans have become very vocal about who is responsible for the team’s 2-5 record.
The hashtag #FireMcCoy is spreading like wildfire all over social media.
Personally, I think it is a bit premature to consider firing McCoy, but his 20-19 record as head coach of the Chargers might speak otherwise.
Sunday’s loss to the Raiders was just too much to handle. The team was inept and ineffective in all three phases of the game until the fourth quarter, when it was far too late to affect the final outcome. The score of 37-29 is very deceiving. The Raiders dominated the game, bullying the Chargers all over the field.
The team seemed unprepared for their first divisional game of the season, looking lost and out of sync from the get-go.
There is no denying that this squad has been decimated by injuries since the season began, but all teams go through injury problems. It should no longer been an excuse. The Bolts took the field on Sunday without two of the biggest names in Chargers’ history, Antonio Gates and Eric Weddle. Their replacements, Ladarius Green and Jimmy Wilson, just aren’t the caliber of players as the two future Hall of Famers. The latter, Wilson, played miserably in coverage, while Green filled in admirably, scoring a 31-yard touchdown and two two-point conversions.
But the loss to the Raiders is just one game. It may be the pinnacle of poor play for the 2015 season, but four other losses this season must be added into the equation.
In 39 games, McCoy is only coaching the team to one game above a .500 record. That is just not good enough. Squeaking into the playoffs should not be a goal for this club, much less not making the playoffs at all. How much hope should there be for this team to turn it around after this terrible start? If the past is any indicator, it is not looking too good.
The finger-pointing around Chargers Park has been going on quite often in the last month. Veteran players have been trying to spread a message to younger players about taking things more seriously, working harder to help the Bolts achieve their goals. McCoy himself has iterated that the players and coaching staff must do a better job to right this ship.
But are McCoy’s words falling on deaf ears at this point? Has he already lost this team?
I am not in the locker room or private meetings, but it is fair to speculate that something is being lost in translation during the week when attempting to prepare this team to win football games.
Again, I do not believe that he should be fired right now, nor do I think that Dean Spanos or Tom Telesco would consider canning him any time soon. But the question is worth asking.
Without reopening all of the old wounds of this disastrous year, I’ll get right to the point of this article.
Do you believe the Chargers should part ways with Mike McCoy, firing him from his first NFL head coaching gig?
Please place your vote on the poll and leave a comment stating why you voted the way that you did.
Thanks in advance for voting and commenting. It will be interesting to see what you all have to say.
That nasty taste is still in my mouth.
No, I don’t mean the taste of the cheap Bud light consumed during Sunday’s debacle.
The San Diego Chargers played their first divisional game of the 2015 season, inviting the Oakland Raiders and their fans to Qualcomm stadium.
The Bolts were embarrassed from the very beginning.
Despite 23 unanswered points scored in the fourth quarter, the final score of 37-29 was not indicative of the way the game was played. The Chargers were outplayed, out-coached and out-classed by the Raiders.
Let that sink in for a minute.
The Chargers were pathetic on the field, on the sidelines, in the team boxes and, most noticeably, in the stands.
The Raiders fans in attendance came out in full force, equaling the number of Chargers fans, per many fan accounts. The Q was engulfed with silver and black jerseys, cheering on the Raiders at a game where the Chargers fans had very little to cheer about.
At the post-game press conference, Oakland quarterback Derek Carr confirmed the fact that the Oakland fans took over the stadium in Mission Valley.
“It felt like a home game,” Carr said.
Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio was asked if it felt like a home game to him.
“It was pretty strong, a pretty strong supporting group. I’d heard people say it was possible throughout the week. I hadn’t experienced that–it was great to have all those fans out there supporting us today,” Del Rio said according to mercurynews.com.
This was one of the worst losses to swallow for me as a fan. Of course, some of it had to do with it being a loss to the Raiders, but mostly because of how poorly the players played, how badly the coaches coached and how depressingly outnumbered the Chargers fans were at home.
Maybe I’m still feeling salty from the loss, but I genuinely meant the aforementioned statement. This was one of the worst performances in every facet possible since I have been a fan, three-plus decades.
The Chargers currently sit at 2-5 in last place of the AFC West. They’ll travel east to Baltimore to take on the Ravens in Week 8, hoping to turn around what has been an incredibly disappointing seven games in 2015.
Articles from Chargers.com:
- “Embarrassed” defense puts onus on itself
- Chargers offense set for soul-searching
- VIDEO: Philip Rivers talks poor start, turnovers
- VIDEO: “It’s very frustrating”
- Loss to Raiders a nightmare from the beginning
- Chargers can’t find footing in loss to Raiders
Articles from ESPN.com:
- With season heading over cliff, it’s up to Mike McCoy to turn Chargers around
- Keenan Allen up, Philip Rivers down for the Chargers
- After Chargers third straight loss, could Mike McCoy be on the hot seat?
- Derek Carr throws 3 TDs as Raiders embarrass Chargers
- Philip Rivers cools down week after 503-yard performance
Articles from The San Diego Union-Tribune:
The San Diego Chargers (2-4) head into this Week 7 matchup coming off yet another close loss, this time to the Green Bay Packers. Here are my keys to winning this week’s matchup against the hated ones, the Oakland Raiders (2-3).
1.) Air it out
Throw the ball. Whether it be another 65 times or less, sling the rock. The Raiders currently sit as the worst passing defense in football and Chargers currently have the best passing offense in football. Much like last week, the Chargers need to use their strength on offense, and continue to use it until the Raiders can (if they can) stop it. If Reich and Rivers both stick to this, the Chargers should come away with their third victory of the season.
2.) Defense, time to eat
What I mean by this, is time to make plays and force turnovers. The Chargers’ defense has only forced seven turnovers in 2015, tying them for fifth worst in football. They need to force turnovers, give the offense a short field and maybe even score points defensively. Either way, they need to get Derek Carr moving his feet, forcing him to chuck up passes and the Chargers’ defense needs to convert those into INTs.
3.) Play smart
You’re at home, play mistake-free. The less mistakes you have, the more of an opportunity you have to win. It’s that simple. Win the penalty column (by committing less than the opposition) and you should be going into Week 8 one game closer to .500.
Do you guys agree or disagree with my keys? Lets me know below and go Bolts!
It is that time of the week again, Chargers fans. The team has released its weekly injury report.
Some of the “usual suspects” find their names listed as out or questionable, but there is one new addition that is sure to change the way the defense runs its game plan on Sunday.
CB – Craig Mager (Hamstring)
OLB – Tourek Williams (Foot)
FS – Eric Weddle (Groin)
ILB – Manti Te’o (Ankle)
WR – Keenan Allen (Hip)
LT – King Dunlap (Concussion)
TE – Antonio Gates (Knee)
RB – Melvin Gordon (Ankle)
OL – Chris Hairston (Ankle)
WR – Stevie Johnson (Hamstring)
OL – Chris Watt (Groin)
SS – Jahleel Addae (Back)
OLB – Kyle Emanuel (Shoulder)
OL – D.J. Fluker (Ankle)
OG – Orlando Franklin (Ankle)
That places 15 players on the injury report for Week 7.
Free safety Eric Weddle will miss his first start since 2009. The three-time All-Pro is arguably the best player on the Chargers’ defense. It goes without saying that he will be missed, and his absence puts a lot of pressure on all of his fellow members of the secondary.
With Te’o listed as doubtful, it appears that rookie Denzel Perryman will get his second-consecutive start. Last week in his first start of the season, Perryman led the defense with eight total tackles and a forced fumble.
Due to the absences of Weddle and Te’o, it will be interesting to see which defender receives the green-dot helmet used as the defense’s communication device to the sideline with defensive coordinator John Pagano.
In what I believe is the most disheartening news on the injury report, both Antonio Gates and Keenan Allen are listed as questionable. Having just come back from a four-game suspension, Gates has had back-to-back nine reception contests, adding two touchdowns. Allen has continued to shred opposing defenses, leading the league in receptions (53) while standing at third in receiving yards (601).
Early reports are stating that Allen is likely to play despite his questionable status. Gates, however, does not appear to be in the same boat, as many fear that he may end up missing Sunday’s game against the hated Raiders.
Sticking with weapons being at the disposal of quarterback Philip Rivers, wide receiver Stevie Johnson is in jeopardy of missing his third game in a row. That being said, after being a limited participant on both Wednesday and Thursday, he was a full-go in Friday’s practice.
Prior to suffering a hamstring injury, Johnson was proving to be a reliable target for Rivers in the passing game.
The offensive line appears to be getting left guard Orlando Franklin back this week. Though he was struggling a bit to get acclimated to the blocking schemes in San Diego, he will be a welcome addition to the starting lineup. Fluker, like Franklin, is listed as probable and he will be starting next to right tackle Joe Barksdale — the only opening-day starter to start every game this season.
Rookie running back Melvin Gordon is making his first appearance on the 2015 injury report. He suffered an ankle injury during last week’s loss to the Packers. I feel his pride may be in worse shape than his ankle, as he fumbled twice, losing one, and was also denied a touchdown for the sixth consecutive game.
All in all, the injury report has lengthened but it seems as though the team is getting healthier along the offensive line. The offense is still struggling to open up any semblance of a hole in the running game, but has done an impressive job of keeping Rivers clean in the passing game. Getting some starters back should help in both areas.
The defense will be worth keeping an eye on this week, seeing as Weddle is out and Te’o will be joining him in street clothes come Sunday. This situation provides a great opportunity for some of the reserve defenders to come n and make their mark, showing they deserve more playing time.
It is imperative that this team finds a way to get healthy as it enters the more favorable part of their schedule. With the exception of Denver, not one team left on the docket has a winning record.
Coach Mike McCoy and company have their work cut out for them. Now is the time for the coaching staff to prove that they are better than their 2-4 record shows.
This offseason there was discussion about the very scary potential of Philip Rivers leaving the San Diego Chargers via trade during the NFL draft. There was speculation that the team, after flying out a good number of the offensive staff and front office to Eugene, OR to workout incoming rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota, would possibly deal Rivers for the Tennessee Titans’ first-round pick (No. 2 selection overall).
Obviously, that talk is now far off in the rearview mirror, as Rivers was not traded and he was signed to a lucrative contract extension with the Chargers.
Now we’re talking about the potential idea that Philip will run away with the MVP trophy by the season’s end (Most Valuable Player).
Thus far throughout the 2015 season, Rivers has thrown for 2,116 yards, tossing 12 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. His completion percentage is at 70.0%. He currently leads the NFL in passing yards. Andy Dalton sits behind him in second place with 1,761 passing yards.
It is amazing that ever since he was trusted with the starting quarterback position, Rivers has not missed any action. The 33-year-old has 150 consecutive starts, putting his toughness and sheer desire to win on display each and every Sunday.
Did I forget to mention the offensive line?
Oh, man. They have been quite the project ever since Kris Dielman was lost to injury along with Marcus McNeil. Just this offseason, Rivers lost his center of 11 years, Nick Hardwick. The revolving door at the center spot in 2014 was widely covered by the staff here at BoltBlitz and many other media outlets, as well. This season has begun no different, as the team has played 12 different configurations along the offensive line.
But did that provide a hindrance to Philip’s stats?
Sure, the offense has been transformed into a short, quick passing game, getting the ball out of his hand faster than when under the former offensive coaching regime.
The fact that Rivers breaks a few records here and there, puts on amazing performances, makes unbelievable throws (in a good way), takes massive beatings behind a patchwork offensive line that is still a work in progress and still continues to have his consecutive starts train rolling is just amazing.
I think it’s great for a guy like Rivers — who is still heavily disrespected by incompetent football fans — to be putting up the numbers he has in recent years due to so many factors that would make it seem unlikely for him to do so.
So the question remains.
Is Philip Rivers in the running for MVP?
Well, let me ask you this: if the award was given out today, who deserves it more than San Diego’s No. 17?
Precisely. No one deserves it more than Philip Rivers.
The major thing standing in the way of Rivers continuing down the MVP track is the fact that the team has a record of 2-4. They clearly need to turn it around to keep him in the running for an award that he is certainly deserving of at this point.
Before I end it here, I want to mention that he is also on pace to break two records. Peyton Manning’s record of 5,477 yards is in jeopardy of being broken by Rivers. He is on track to eclipse that by over 100 yards. Another record he can possibly break is Drew Brees’ completions record (468).
I honestly believe that those two records will be shattered by him. I have no doubt about it, and hopefully I’ll see it in person myself down the stretch!
– Richie Farley
San Diego Chargers fans had mixed emotions when the name of the team’s second-round draft pick (#48 overall) was announced this past May. General manager Tom Telesco had submitted the name of Miami linebacking standout Denzel Perryman. Many felt that Telesco should have exercised that choice for additional help along the D-line. It was the third consecutive draft year that TT had chosen a linebacker (Manti Te’o in 2013 at No.38 and Jerry Attaochu in 2014 at No. 50) in that round.
Post-draft via Chargers.com, here is what Telesco offered on the selection of Perryman:
“He’s an explosive, extremely instinctive inside linebacker,” said Telesco. “He plays with a lot of energy. As far as we’re concerned, and obviously it’s just one team’s opinion, as far as inside linebackers go, he has the best instincts in the draft, the best tackling, and he is the most explosive. When he hits people, they go backwards. He’s got some coverage skills too which is going to help him in this league. We’re really excited about getting him in here.”
Even during his high school years, the 5-foot-10, 240-pound Perryman had a reputation as a “thumper,” a force to be reckoned with. The former Hurricane was a tackling machine despite missing the first nine games of his sophomore year due to a high ankle sprain. He amassed 218 tackles (14.5 for loss), three sacks, three forced fumbles, broke up eight passes plus one interception return for a touchdown during his junior and senior years. Those gaudy 2013-14 numbers garnered him a nomination and finalist for the Butkus Award.
This past Sunday on the not-yet-frozen tundra of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, we all had an opportunity to judge for ourselves the wisdom of that pick when the rookie ran out onto the field for his first career start.
Earlier in the week, San Diego defensive coordinator John Pagano was asked about Perryman playing against the Packers: “It’s about trust,” he said. “It’s about us as coaches trusting him, but also him doing the things that he needs to do with the players out there on the field, that they trust him. So you just go from there. There’s going to be growing pains. All rookies end up making mistakes here and there, but if his time is called upon this week, we need him to step up. We’ll wait and see on that.”
There was little disappointment in his performance last Sunday. He was in on 28 snaps, led the team with eight tackles (7 solo) and forced Eddie Lacy to fumble; not easy considering the bulk of man who is the Pack’s lead running back. Subbing at inside linebacker due to a bad ankle for Te’o, the day became an awesome showcase of Perryman’s abilities and points out why his presence can no longer be ignored.
For comparison, here are what the other inside linebackers (Manti Te’o, Donald Butler, and Kavell Conner) have done in their initial starts: Te’o had three solo tackles versus Dallas on September 29, 2013. Conner (2010 Colts/7th round/#240) had five total/four solo against the Giants on September 10, 2010. And the guy that it seems everyone loves to find fault with lately, the oft-maligned Butler? His rookie season (2010) was derailed by a torn left Achilles sustained in training camp. He returned September 11, 2011 and made six tackles against Minnesota.
Still the question hangs in the air unanswered: if he plays so well, why is the 21-year-old rookie still logging time on special teams when Butler is struggling? Chargers fans may speculate about the future make-up of that unit. Perhaps the future is now, at least short-term – it looks like there may be a roster change as Te’o has not practiced all week.
I hope the young linebacker gets the nod to start in the match-up against Oakland on Sunday. His motor revs high and he doesn’t quit.
I think that challenges the rest to play better.
Let me know your thoughts.
Thanks for reading.